Xavier Cold

Page 32


I swallow hard when Xavier leaves me alone in the car. It’s hitting me that I won’t see him until Wednesday. Four days apart doesn’t sound like a long time, but we haven’t spent one day away from each other since we’ve met. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this without breaking down into a complete puddle of tears.
I haven’t even left yet, and I’m missing him like crazy.
Xavier can’t see me like this. If he sees me hurting, he’ll ask me to stay, and I won’t say no.
I take a deep breath and lift my chin before opening the door. Xavier’s standing there with his hands shoved into his pockets with my suitcase by his side.
He sucks in his bottom lip before slowly pulling it through his teeth. “You got everything?”
Everything but you, I want to say, but instead, I run through the mental checklist I made when I was packing. “I think so.”
He nods. “Just remember, stick with Brian and Liv. They’ll help you out if you need anything.”
“Got it.”
There’s a weird uncertainty between us, and I can’t think of a way to make it any better because leaving is something I have to do. There’s no time for a long heart-to-heart talk about what happened between us.
Xavier stretches his tattooed arms out toward me and then wraps them around me. He buries his face into my hair, and he inhales deeply, like he’s trying to commit my scent to his memory. “I’ll miss you every damn day. If you have any problems, call me.”
I cling to him, feeling the heat of his skin against me. “I will.”
He pulls back first. “Head in there before I make a huge mistake and throw you back in this car.”
I run my fingers along his jaw, scratching his stubble from his day-old beard. “I love you. This won’t last forever. The only thing that’s permanent is you and me.”
He nods and then leans in and presses his lips to mine. “Love you, too. Now, go.” He takes a step back as I grab the handle of my suitcase. “Later, beautiful.”
I head into the building, and when I turn to get a final glimpse of Xavier, he’s already gone.
The flight from Detroit to Seattle takes forever. Last time I flew cross-country like this, I was thoroughly distracted by the sexy wrestler sitting next to me while he was busy attempting to get into my pants.
When I finally get off the plane, I make my way through the airport to the exit. Seattle is a little cooler than Detroit, but it’s still a comfortable summer evening.
I search for a sign to point me in the direction of a taxi, but my eyes widen when they land on a familiar face.
Liv waves to me. “Anna!”
I head in her direction, rolling my suitcase behind me, and notice that she’s completely alone. “What are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you. X texted Brian and asked if we could look out for you, so I took the liberty of picking you up once X gave us your flight information. Hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course not,” I say as I lean in to hug her. “That’s so sweet of you. Thank you.”
She releases me. “You’re welcome. Now, come on. Let’s get you over to the hotel. I parked just over here.”
Once everything is loaded into the back of Liv’s SUV, we hop into the cab.
She weaves in and out of traffic until we’re coursing down the highway.
She adjusts her butt in her seat. “So, how’s X holding up with everything? Brian’s worried about him.”
“He’s handling it better than I expected actually. When Mr. Silverman dropped the suspension on him, Xavier freaked out a bit, threatening to quit if they made me go on the road without him.”
She raises her eyebrows. “I’m assuming he’s gotten over that since you’re here?”
I nod. “We fought about it a lot at first, but me being here is for the best, and he realizes that. It’s just hard for us to be apart.”
“Young love, the kind where you can’t seem to get enough of one another”—Liv sighs with a dreamy expression on her face—“it’s a beautiful thing. I used to worry that those butterflies I felt when I first started dating Brian would fizzle away one day.”
I smile as I observe in the sappy look on her face. “I take it that you’re still madly in love?”
Her lips twist into a smile. “That obvious?”
I hold my fingers up, putting my thumb and forefinger nearly together, allowing less than an inch of space between them. “Only a little.”
We both laugh. It feels good because I haven’t laughed much since the whole suspension thing went down.
Xavier is always intense, so I’ve come to expect that from him, but with everything going on, it’s been hard to get him out of his own head. He worries so much, and looking back, we’ve been having a lot of heated discussions lately. I hope that when all of this is settled and he’s able to get back into the ring, playful Xavier will return. I miss that side of him.
We pull up to the hotel, and Liv drives under the awning of the building, but I don’t see a sign for valet parking.
“You didn’t have to pull up here. I can walk in with you after you park the car.”
“Brian and I aren’t staying at the hotel. We live not too far from here, so we prefer to stay home when Tension travels close. Kami sleeps better in her own bed, which means Brian and I actually get to sleep, too.”
“Speaking of Kami, is she with Brian?”
She nods. “Yes. They rarely get quality time together. Kami keeps him on his toes.”
I chuckle, picturing such a large man like Brian at the mercy of a little blonde two-year-old girl.
Liv pushes the button to pop the hatch on the trunk, and a bellhop in a burgundy suit makes his way to the back of the SUV.
“Call me if you need anything. I’m only about fifteen minutes away.”
I smile, thankful for her kindness. “Thank you so much, Liv.”
“Of course. What are friends for?”
My grin widens. It’s nice to finally have some friends after so many years of being cooped up with my father’s rules.
I hop out of the SUV and turn toward Liv. “I’ll see you tomorrow at the show?”
“You can count on it. I’ll be out there, front and center, to watch what they do with you, Anna Sweets.” She winks at me after calling me out on my stage name.